I probably should have written our very first blog in the first week of January, especially as I will be reflecting over our launch year as Amelie Design LLP- but hey, day to day work happens (and the New Year’s resolutions of the gym and a healthy lifestyle) and then it’s February…and I’m not afraid of writing it anymore!

As the title suggests, 2015 was indeed about launching our new company and our very own products to the world! At the age of 31, for me this was mega, but for my dad this is a massive achievement. On our home page you can read ‘our story’ which is a super quick ‘please stay interested’ introduction. We have products that we absolutely love and can manufacture to a high standard in our factory, here in the West Midlands and we want our products to be seen, loved and of course hopefully purchased by you (Google says honesty is absolutely essential whilst writing blogs)!

After dedicating a lot of time to the design, the branding and the launch of our company, the date had arrived 11th June 2015 – 1 year later than planned! We were stood in our 3×3 marque trade stand, E278, at the NEC in Birmingham for our first trade show as exhibitors, for the BBC Gardeners World Live. Filled with nerves, apprehension, anxiety and excitement it was happening! I think our new ‘show friends’ had noticed a certain petrified look upon our faces and were extremely inviting towards us, especially Mark from http://lightinnovation.com/ – check them out, if you need any lighting he is your man – thank you Mark for showing us the show ropes!

The Launch…

There’s a queue at the gates.

A queue!

Our marque had a brilliant spot, outside on the first walkway from the entrance and the sun was shining, so it should be in JUNE. We were literally like little bunnies caught in headlights – Dad designed the planter in 2008 when Mom wanted something nice for the garden, we have a company in sheet metal work that had just hit the recession and as you can imagine it was a little quiet, Mom could have something made from metal – The planter was designed. 7 years later the public could see 13 of our beautiful coloured planters on our stand!

 

 

 

“Look at those planters”, “wow”, “what a great idea for small spaces”, “perfect for your Grace that is, she only has a patio”, “the colours are wonderful”, “Are they metal”, “they are clever” – you could hear the comments flying towards you. It was so overwhelming, its very hard to put into words why this day is now so precious in our thoughts. It was a constant flow of remarks with people wanting to touch them, tap them and stroke them! Thankfully our PR specialist Amanda had popped by to see us and wish us good luck, she started talking to a lady, simply answering like a normal human being, “yes they are beautiful arent they, made not far from here by…”, pointing in our direction,  where we were still stood like little bunnies – That was it, we didn’t stop talking all day. To each one of our customers that day and to come, thank you so much for also wanting something nice for your garden! Thank you, thank you!

At the end of the first day exhibitiors are encouraged to relax with a free beer (yes) in the outside bar. We’ve all had long days, we’ve all had successful buisness days, we’ve hopefully all felt proud – well, you know how awesome that cold beer tasted! Four great days were had, the launch was complete, we were looking forwards to getting back in the office. There is something really quite lovely about enjoying your work.

 

Thanks to our ‘show friends’, customers and general public feedback, we soon realised that our three tier planter was a hit and that we should definitely continue launching further products to add to our range. It became apparent that we needed to aim for the RHS Shows, Royal Horticultural Society, https://www.rhs.org.uk/ The RHS Chelsea Flower Show 2016 being our goal…..694 words in, I’m beginning to have new respect for authors! Feel free to comment below on how I’m doing….I hope reading ‘Chealsea Flower Show’ doesn’t appear to ambitious or presumptious, although we need ambition to succeed don’t we? Chelsea is HUGE though.

To prepare for, what we were hoping will be a full year in 2016 in the show circuit, we knew it was absolutely necessary to trade at an RHS Show in 2015 – there were only two shows left! Thank fully the RHS are extrmemly helpful and have encouraged us to trade at their shows, we were able to get a cancellation spot at RHS Tatton Park in Manchester!

Before I talk/write/blog about Tatton Park – Blog tips tend to advise to keep blogs to around 1000 words. As it’s my first blog, I’m going to play by the rules. I hope you have enjoyed reading this businessy blog, I promise I am much more professional within my day to day role for Amelie and our other company GPS Ltd – I might blog about that at some point too. If you have recently launched a product or company, I’d love to hear from you and how, if at all, terrifying you found your first day!